It has been a while since I took you on a street art walk, so this is the week to put that right. Come stroll with me, artistically.
Our location this week is an old sports stadium in Chisinau. This sizeable arena, the Republican Stadium, was built in 1952 and held up to 8,084 people. It was host to the local football teams, Zimbru Chisinau and Dacia Chisinau, and also to the national Moldovan football team. It witnessed 17 finals of the Moldovan Cup and two finals of the Football Federation Cup of the USSR.
Sadly, time, expense and regulations took their toll, it seems. No longer meeting the criteria of FIFA and UEFA, it closed in 2006 with ambitious plans declared to build a new stadium. The old buildings and seating were demolished in 2007, and many development plans were declared, including a possible hotel and embassy on the site. But the plot is still empty, vegetation is taking over, and the surrounding walls are tumbling.
Some of the intricate details on the columns are still visible, and the five-pointed Soviet star pops up in many places.
Development plans have now gone quiet but, in recent years, some local artists have done their bit to cheer up the outside walls. Many of the murals depict Moldovan traditions, costumes, symbols and the beautiful natural scenery of this country.
These dancers in traditional costume are the work of Cristiana Grati. It seems quite a break from her usual work, as she does design work for the game industry.
Click on gallery below to see larger
We’ll end the mural stroll with a look at Moldova’s main export product, wine:
At our final corner of the stadium there is a restaurant set in a courtyard. It is one of a chain of steakhouses. I didn’t try one so can’t comment on quality, but I liked the car in the car park.
And this is where we’ll finish our arty saunter. From here it’s about a 15 minute walk into the centre of town. Let’s head for one of the coffee booths in the cathedral park, and put our feet up.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 2 September 2019